10 reasons not to join my colleague’s 30 day vegan challenge:
- given a choice, I’d give up chocolate before cheese has been my default “backed into a corner” position
- self-righteousness is a personal vice, going vegan (even for a month) could possibly tip the scale to judge-y, Irritating.
- soysage and tofu-rky are so fun to say, but trying too hard to be meat
- going cold turkey from sour cream, yogurt, and butter sounds unnecessary
- vanilla, pretzels and chicken stock are impossible to find in Indonesia where I go from store to store in a taxi with a meter that keeps running–let alone nutritional yeast, silky tofu, tree nuts in bulk . . .
- hummus and babaganoush are yummy, but a lifestyle choice, hmmm?
- salads do not sustain for more than an hour. Tops!
- as a former deacon at my church, recruiting people to make vegan meals for new mothers was met with unreturned phone calls and emails, as well as averted eyes when walking through the fellowship hall at church . . . awkward (until I found that there was a small contingent of vegans who were taking care of their own)
- my sweet pembantu, Atik, does most of my cooking . . . although a master chef, due to communication issues, we’ve been working our way from Kraft singles on white bread to a more eggplant and crusty bread based menu . . . I don’t want to impose further on her (a colleague called BS on this excuse and I already backed down)
- the inevitability is so boring . . . I left a small town in Michigan and uprooted my life to teach internationally . . . of course the trajectory involves going vegan at some point. The whole thing borders on trying too hard to be relevant and taking my political leanings to their ultimate conclusion.
why i’m signing up for the 30 day vegan challenge
- in a word, Brighde. Brighde is a vegan whose vegan-ism is expressed through amazing cooking and genuine compassion. After a meal of vegan taco salad (How did she know my favorite food is Mexican–more specifically TexMex?), my skepticism was addressed immediately because the “meat” was not a soy substitute but a nut and spice delicacy, yum.
- umami taste is still possible–one of my favorite basic tastes–Brighde brought this term up in the first 10 minutes of our conversation and took the nutritional yeast out of the pantry as proof
- after returning from Korea, I usually realize with astonishment that I hadn’t been eating cheese and didn’t miss it, due to the fermented vegetables and other savory dishes
- during the challenge, we will be shopping and cooking together, unlike my lone “stitch and b*tch” self-taught approach to knitting years ago
- Forks over Knives, which I thought would be a gory expose of slaughterhouses is actually a well-reasoned look at medical research, focusing on 2 doctors who grew up on farms
- the calcium? the protein? the b-12? All found in foods or vitamin supplements. Brighde mentioned that even omnivores don’t get all of their daily allowances of necessary nutrients
- dark chocolate is allowable
- vegan recipes are beautiful
- if I crash and burn on this diet, it can be part of my Indonesian phase
- sweet potato chips, radish dipped in sea salt, beet salad . . . things I already eat that are vegan
One colleague stated that she quit after a few days during the challenge last year. Just plain because she was hungry. I admired her candor. My family will be relieved to have only limited electronic contact with me during the launch of the challenge since when I’m hungry, things turn ugly quickly.
Translated: I’m laying it all out there. The journey may fail to launch, end abruptly or kick-off a flexitarian plant-inspired (not fully based) diet.
So, snicker. Roll your eyes. Secretly nod, “Naturally.”
But, I’m not recruiting. Just making a couple of lists.
It all begins, February 18th.